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Apple update news

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Should I upgrade to macOS Big Sur?

macOS 11 Big Sur is now available to the public and it comes with new features and changes. But you may be wondering, should I upgrade to macOS Big Sur on my Mac?

macOS 11 Big Sur has been widely seen as the least stable of the major new Apple software releases this year during the beta period.

Common issues have included graphical issues like problems with external display support, apps freezing, and random reboots. Stability has improved over the course of the beta period and Apple had postponed macOS Big Sur launching to November instead of September or October, but bugs and performance issues are not totally resolved yet.

So, the question remains, should I upgrade to macOS Big Sur?

  • if you have any concerns about app stability, performance issues, and other bugs, hold out at least for the next bug fix update before upgrading (but maybe even a later update depending on your stability tolerance).
  • If you have critical apps that must work, make sure to check for Big Sur compatibility before upgrading whenever you choose to (initial release not recommended if you have crucial apps)

[Source: https://9to5mac.com/2020/11/16/should-i-upgrade-to-big-sur-on-my-mac/] 

We at IT have received reports of issues with software like Parrallels®, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office after upgrading to Big Sur. We recommend that user refrain from upgrading to Big Sur.


Apple’s M1 chipset could have some major compatibility issues

Since Apple made its reveal of the M1 chip during the ‘One More Thing’ event on November 10, everyone has been itching to get their hands on a new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro to see for themselves if this SoC (System on a chip) lives up to its hype. 

Whilst we certainly enjoyed the new machines ourselves, some prominent figures on Twitter are documenting various compatibility issues when using the new M1-powered machines.

Patrick Moorhead (@patrickmoorehead) is a well-known tech analyst, so his claims shouldn’t be dismissed. We’re also seeing other reports popping up over social media sites that reveal his problems are not isolated issues, to the point where a web service called ‘Is Apple Silicon Ready?’ has now been set up to track the compatibility of important Mac software and found around 40% had compatibility issues.

How to check your apps are silicon ready

You can check your existing applications and the Apple Silicon M1 compatible apps database for yourself using the above service, and follow along on the ‘Is Apple Silicon Ready?’ Twitter account for updates. You can also check the featured story on the Mac App Store that highlights what M1 compatible apps are readily available

Source: https://www.techradar.com/news/apples-m1-chipset-could-have-some-major-compatibility-issues

If your apps are not compatible with the new M1 chip you are likely to receive errors when installing. Applications are built to run on specific processors, and not every developer has done all the work necessary to make their apps run natively on Apple Silicon Macs. M1-powered Macs can run native, universal (in which the installer carries code for both Intel and Apple chips) and Intel apps.

Apple is encouraging developers to release universal apps where possible and is making it possible to run Intel apps on Apple silicon using emulation technology called Rosetta 2.

What is Rosetta 2?

Rosetta 2 is an emulator designed to bridge the transition between Intel and Apple processors. In short, it translates apps built for Intel so they will run on Apple Silicon.

Without Rosetta 2 you won’t be able to install applications with .pgk extensions. Rosetta 2 according to Apple is not currently available in South Africa.

[ARTICLE BY BRADLEY VAN DER VENTER]

Working remotely toolkit

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Despite current circumstances we still need to ensure that staff and students are enabled to continue with their work and research. Below we suggest the necessary tools for effectively working online remotely. The ICT Partner Portal is our preferred method for reporting or requesting especially during these trying times. Please use the ICT Partner Portal to automatically receive an ICT reference that can be used for feedback.

All these tools have been thoroughly tested by the IT Division and are recommended and supported. The following tools are available:

CITRIX GATEWAY

Citrix provides users with a secure access and single sign-on to web applications or software as a services solution. The following web applications are available and accessed through https://suvpnweb.sun.ac.za:

a. Real time accessed Database (RTAD)
b. Phambili Facilities Management
c. Workspace (WRRC)
d. ARCGIS                                   

VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)

Allows access to the entire University network from any internet-connected location. VPN is only necessary if you require secure access to servers, devices, applications that are only accessible via the University network. 

VPN is needed to use:

a. SSH or remote desktop to your work computer/server, usually for access to specialist software or resources.
b. Full drive mapping (G: , H: and P: ) and scope of services as if you are in your office.

To apply for VPN, log a request on the ICT Partner Portal and select the Remote Access option right at the top. More information on VPN on our blog. 

CITRIX

The remote interface to centrally hosted application, requires the installation of the Citrix client application on the user’s personal computing device.

Citrix is needed for:

a. Teraterm (Administration applications)
b. SUN E-HR (only with relation to Ad HOC Payments)

To apply for Citrix, log a request on the ICT Partner Portal and select the Remote Access option right at the top.

SKYPE FOR BUSINESS

A unified communication platform that includes instant messaging, presence (with the status option, be able to check availability of colleagues), file transfer, video conferencing.

MICROSOFT TEAMS (MS Teams)

A versatile collaboration HUB for teamwork. Users can create teams to collaborate and work together – the MS Teams application can easily be installed from the Microsoft Store – Office 365 Training . More information on Teams on Microsoft’s website.

ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS

Files are available anywhere on all devices – store, protect, share them with colleagues (co-authoring).
End-users are encouraged to copy (synchronise) their files from the home directory to their OneDrive Stellenbosch University storage space.


With work switching to online platforms and the need for online meetings using Microsoft Teams, we strongly advise staff to upgrade to Office365. The following applications will work without any special access requirements from your home:

Office including Teams and Skype for business

Sharepoint

Onedrive

SUNLearn in client and development mode.

Webaccess to your mapped drives from my.sun.ac.za 

To enable any of these tools, log a request on the ICT Partner Portal.

To download software such as SAS; Mathematica; SPSS; Pastel; Matlab, etc. you can use our Software Hub. 

 

 

 

McAfee upgrade

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

As we all know, McAfee has been the product of choice with regards to Virus Protection on campus computers. New and improved products are released regularly, and we need to keep up with the change to remain protected against virus attacks.

We are currently in the process of upgrading our McAfee environment to McAfee Endpoint Security.

What is it?

McAfee Endpoint Security is a modern, integrated, extensible security solution that protects servers, computer systems, laptops, and tablets against known and unknown threats. These threats include malware, suspicious communications, unsafe websites, and downloaded files. It replaces several legacy McAfee products that were deployed as point products (VirusScan Enterprise and others) with a single-agent architecture and integrated advanced defences like machine learning analysis, containment, and endpoint detection and response (EDR).

How is it different from VirusScan Enterprise?

McAfee Endpoint Security outperforms VirusScan Enterprise, giving you a 25% higher protection rate.

How will the upgrade affect my computer?

During the upgrade process, your computer will become a little slower, but this is just temporary.

Any questions? Have a look at the FAQs.

Adobe licences update

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Users of Adobe Acrobat software may have noticed a pop-up notification stating that their licence will be expiring at the end of November.

This is an administration issue on Adobe’s side and can easily be rectified for you to continue working seamlessly. If you don’t update your licence, you will no longer be able to read or edit pdf documents with the Adobe Acrobat software.

To prevent this from happening, you can do one of the following:

  • Open the following link. You will be prompted to enter your username & password and the licenceupdate.exe file will, depending on your browser, either ask you to run/save or download automatically.
    1. If your browser prompts you to run/save, click run. You might get a notification that Windows considers the file to be unsafe, but you can click more info and click run anyway. Notices will pop up on your screen. In each instance, just click on Yes. The command window will display the new date when Acrobat will expire. Click any key to close the command window.
    2. If your browser automatically downloaded the file, browse to your download folder and double click the licenceupdate.exe file. Follow the steps described above.
  • If you can’t successfully execute the instructions above, please log a request with the subject “Update Adobe licence” on the ICT Partner Portal. Keep in mind that this option will mean a delay in response time. 

 

 

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: What’s the difference?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: What’s the difference?

There is a lot to be said for consistency in product names, but when you have dozens of products with multiple versions of each, similar names can get confusing fast. Yes, Microsoft we are referring to you …

Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365, a bundle of existing products under one license. The name is similar to the already existing Office 365 (and the recently renamed Dynamics 365). In fact, a lot of people already inadvertently called Office 365 by the name of Microsoft 365.

So, it’s easy to see how the two products can be confused. It gets even more confusing when you learn Microsoft 365 includes Office 365.

Let’s break down the differences:

The Short Version

Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity apps like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and more. Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services including Office 365, plus several other services including Windows 10 Enterprise.

The Long Version

Office 365

Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of apps and services centred around business productivity. It includes some apps you’re probably already familiar with like Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Skype for Business, SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams, along with robust productivity, collaboration, and security features. 

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that includes Office 365. It also includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and machine learning. As the title implies, it’s more geared towards larger organisations that wants a single, secure platform with which to share and collaborate. It includes strong data security features on top of Windows 10 Pro and Office 365.

What’s included in Microsoft 365 in comparison to Office 365?

Both products come with the ability to have fully installed Office applications on tablets, phones and PCs, as well as the web browser versions. You get 1TB of personal file storage, as well as business class email and calendars. You also have access to Skype for Business for instant messaging and video calling, as well as Microsoft Teams and other new tools like Delve and Planner.

The differences begin with device management. Unlike Office 365, Microsoft 365 comes with a single console to manage users and devices. You can also automatically deploy Office applications to Windows 10 PCs.

The security tools are also missing from Office 365. The alternative comes with the ability to protect data across devices and secure access. You can also protect Windows 10 devices from risks such as malware with Windows Defender.  

[ARTICLE BY MANDY WANZA]

 

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